Few things characterize New York City like a yellow NYC taxi cab.
Many tourists use taxis as their primary or only form of transportation when visiting New York. This is not necessary because the New York City subway system is excellent and many tourists have navigated the subways successfully. Even so, visitors often prefer taking cabs over dealing with the crowds and extra work that the subway requires.
To hail a cab, stand at the edge of the street and hold your arm out.
Taxis are easier to catch on large avenues than small side streets. If the light at the top of taxi is lit, then the taxi is empty. If its off, the taxi is occupied and therefore not available.
Once you have successfully hailed a cab, just hop in and tell the driver where you want to go.
This is best communicated by giving the driver an intersection (example: Sixth Avenue and 34th Street) rather than a hotel name or street address. Giving the name of a well-known landmark (like the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center) works well too.
Overall, taxi drivers seem reasonably skilled at getting around the city and generally try their hardest to get you to your destination fast.
Taxis aren't always the best way to travel in New York City. Some notable disadvantages include the following:
So Why Take a Taxi? New York City taxis do have their place. Taxis can be good for the following situations:
There is a standard metered fare for all travel within New York City. The fare accrues during the ride and is computed by a taximeter located inside each taxi.
Here are a few criteria for how the fare is calculated:
New York taxis accept cash and credit/debit cards. Although they used to be notoriously cash-only, taxis are now outfitted with machines that accept credit and debit cards. The tip can be added to the card as well. The card machines are located in the rear part of the cab where the passengers sit.
As for tipping, 15-20% is the standard tip for NYC taxi drivers.
Learn more about NYC taxi fares.
NYC taxis serve all three New York City airports.
There is more than one way to get to and from the airport. Learn more about how to get from the airport to Manhattan, including public transportation options.